Bonnie May Banta Ward, a devoted mother, wife and missionary passed away peacefully in her sleep on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020.
Bonnie is survived by her Husband; David, three children: Pamela, Lori and Andy, grand children: Anthony, Brittany, Austin, Kalyie, Jordan, Lonnie, Brianna, Alisha Malayshia, Nikki and Tia Jaynes, Jasmine, Alex, Heidi, Denzel, Adam, Andrew Childers, Kiara Waalee and Owen Ward. Great-grand children: Zendaya, Zaria, Evelyn, Symponie, Jamari, Liam, and Aiden and her brothers David And Tim Banta, sisters Mary Anne Chapman and Martha Jane Thompson. Bonnie is predeceased by her mother and father Alfred and Martha (Rose) Banta.
Bonnie was born on Jan. 29, 1950 in Euphrata, Wash., to Alfred and Martha Banta. Eventually settling in Jewett, Ohio, Bonnie graduated from Jewett High School and married David Ward in 1968. They together ministered for a number of years in the US in Ohio and Connecticut and in 1980 began their journey as missionaries for the United Pentecostal Church in Sierra Leone, West Africa. It was a journey that would last a lifetime. Kenya and Tanzania were where her children grew up and later reclaim kids would allow many many more to receive an education and hope through the non-profit organization she and her husband created. Bonnie’s heart and soul were devoted to theirs and her ministry remaining by David’s side through many trials and never giving in to despair, choosing instead to worship through the challenges as well as the good times.
Bonnie was an avid reader, but would never read the beginning of a story first instead she read the end and then the beginning and then maybe the middle. She loved to cook and to share her kitchen with those who would like to learn, starting a cooking class in her kitchen in Moshi for ladies in the area and for the kids from the international school nearby as a cooking club. She never missed an opportunity share her passion for Christ, she strove to show His grace through friendship and constant desire to simply please Him. Friends knew that if they needed a peaceful respite, or a place to recover from illness or simply a place to stop in for a night (or weeks) while traveling through, they would be welcome and leave with a full belly an open invitation to return. Bonnie will be missed deeply but often spoke of a quote on a grave in Liberia belonging to a young missionary child that reads “Hush, tis only till Jesus comes”.
A service will be held for family and friends on Dec. 5th at 1pm at First Church in Sterling Heights Mi. Pastor Hoffman will be presiding. Flowers, donations and condolences may be offered at 52352 Norfolk Ln, Chesterfield Mi, 48051.